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12 easy ways to lose your ecommerce customers

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff | May 8, 2015
Ecommerce, customer relationship and marketing experts reveal the fastest ways to turn off shoppers and offer advice for what you can do to ensure customers don’t leave your site and make their purchases elsewhere.

"Brands that lack clearly defined authenticity policies [and trust marks] are more prone to creating a negative brand perception that may result in a loss of customers," adds Matt Krebsbach, director of Global Public & Analyst Relations atBazaarvoice. A Bazaarvoice survey found that 29 percent of U.S. consumers will not purchase from or enter personal information on websites that do not display appropriate trust marks."

5. Your site is difficult to navigate. "There's nothing worse than a website that is hard to navigate," says Rob Garf, vice president, Industry Strategy & Insights, Demandware, a cloud commerce solution provider. "Retailers will lose customers if their sites aren't easily searchable," he argues.

"Get in the mind of the shopper," he advises. "Consider how they will navigate [your] site to guarantee customers can find products they're searching for." And "test every element of the customer's buying journey through every touch point on [your] site, to ensure high-speed and quality search functionality."

To keep customers engaged, make sure they can find whatever it is they are looking for with just a couple of clicks.

6. Your photos suck. "When shopping online, photography is [often] the only way customers get to know a product," says Aryana Jaleh, the social media manager for Exolab, a Web design and Web marketing company. "So even if the product itself is great, a bad photo won't sell it. Photos have to be clean, with good lighting and accurately [represent] the item."

7. Your copy is boring or difficult to understand. "If you want to lose customers quickly, create content that's either so high level that it's beyond the interest of even the people at the company who are paid to care about it, or so empty and vague that it's like chewing old gum," says Greg Zapar, director of User Experience at Wire Stone, a digital agency. To combat "content fatigue," and keep visitors engaged, eliminate jargon, make descriptions easy to understand -- but avoid manufacturers' descriptions (as it hurts your SEO) -- and "think more visually, [by using] interactive infographics... or videos that get the message across."

8. Customers consider your shipping too expensive. "According to a survey released by SecureNet titled "The Way We Pay," consumers between the ages of 18 and 44 reported shipping costs as the biggest factor impacting their decisions to purchase products online," says Nish Modi, senior vice president of Product and Innovation, Worldpay, a payment processor. "Providing discounts with promotional codes or reduced shipping costs to preferred shoppers with registered accounts can reduce the shock of shipping costs for shoppers." And don't underestimate the power of free shipping.


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